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Home News MSC vessel being towed to safety after catching fire off South Africa

MSC vessel being towed to safety after catching fire off South Africa

On 9 September, reports emerged out of South Africa that MSC Katrina, a 12,400TEU container ship built in 2012, caught fire South West of Port Elizabeth.

On the morning of 9th September, the vessel was reportedly adrift, but search and rescue (SAR) tug SA Amandla came to the rescue.

The Panama-flagged boxship is now en route to South Africa's Durban, from Lome Togo.

The caravan of tug and the container ship are reportedly sailing through a head wind storm, and will reach Durban by September 16 as per estimated time of arrival (ETA) calculations. Due to heavy winds, the vessel might have to shelter in Port Elizabeth.

Even though there's very limited information available on the issue, a possible cause of the fire onboard could be an explosion, as it happens in most similar cases.

This is not the first fire incident of the ship, while in November 2015, MSC Katrina suffered a fire onboard en route from Antwerp to Hamburg, after the self ignition of charcoal cargo that was being carried.

The incident prompted German investigators from the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) to address the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for updating existing regulations in the carriage of charcoal in containers onboard.

Ankur Kundu

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